Kiosk Guides for Learning

The universe is full
of magical things,
patiently waiting for
our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts 1862-1960
English poet/author

Reading and research series

Researching on the Internet

How do I search the Internet?

  • Narrow your topic and its description;
    identify and pull out key words, phrases and categories
  • Use a search engine: does it contain a directory of topics?
    Find the best combination of key words to locate information you need;
    Enter these in the search engine
  • Get assistance from your local research librarian
  • Refer to known, recommended, expert, or reviewed web sites
  • Refer to professional portals
    that may have directories or collections by topic
  • Review the number of options returned.
    If there are too many web sites, add more keywords.
    If there are too few options, narrow/delete some keywords,
    or substitute other key words
  • Review the first pages returned:
    If these are not helpful, review your key words for a better description
  • Use advanced search options in search engines:
    Search options include
    • Key word combinations, including Boolean strings
    • Locations where key words are found
      For example: in the title, 1st paragraphs, coded metadata
    • Languages to search in
    • Sites containing media files
      (images, videos, MP3/music, ActiveX, JAVA, etc.)
    • Dates web sites were created or updated
  • Research using several search engines
    Each search engine has a different database of web sites it searches
    Some "Meta-Search" engines actually search other search engines!
    If one search engine returns few web sites, another may return many!
  • Evaluate the content of the web sites you've found:
    Refer to the Study Guide "Evaluating web site content"
  • Track your search:
    List resources you checked; the date your checked them
    Identify the resource, especially its location and the date you found it
  • When printing, set your options to print the
    Title of the page | the Web address | the date printed

What are some resources?

  • Search engines
    Search Engine Colossus
    links to search engines from 148 countries
  • Directories that organize information and links
    • Open Directory Project
      a comprehensive human-reviewed directory of the web
    • IPL2
      features a searchable, subject-categorized directory of authoritative websites; links to online texts, newspapers, and magazines; and the Ask an ipl2 Librarian online reference service
  • Web sites devoted to particular topics, including text, graphics, movies, music files.
    Examples include Internet Directory for Botany, Phone-soft Internet Directory International organic Chemistry, Stock photography (royalty free)
  • Government documents, forms, laws, policies, etc.
    U.S. Government Printing Office disseminates official information from all three branches of the United States Federal Government
  • Services and information by
    non-profit organizations and by for-profit businesses
  • LISTSERVs or discussion groups: L-Soft:
    browse any of the 50,686 public LISTSERV lists on the Internet, search for mailing lists of interest, and get information about LISTSERV host sites
  • Resources at your local (public) library
    These may require membership or registration
  • Newspaper, journal, magazine databases
    Often restricted to subscribers, require registration, or can be fee-based for access

International conventions of copyright govern the use and reproduction of all material: all information should be properly cited

Reading and research series

Reading critically | Pre-reading strategies | SQ3R reading method |
KWL reading method | Marking & underlining | Reading difficult material | Interpretive reading | Reading essays | Reading fiction | Narrator/character types |
Speed and comprehension | Researching on the Internet | Evaluating websites |
Organizing research: computers | Organizing research: note cards